2.9.12 – WTA Board Meeting Minutes

WTA Board Meeting

February 9, 2012

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Red Lion SeaTac Hotel




In attendance: Kevin Clark, Kimberly Bennett, Christina Pivarnik, Andy Olsen, John Bookwalter, Monique Trudnowski, Jennifer Leavitt, Dan Moore, George Sharp, Karen Stebbins, Darrell Bryan, Diane Schostak, Duane Wollmuth, John Cedergreen. Suzanne Fletcher and Brianna Mark were preset as staff. Andrea Mensink and David Blandford were guests.

On Call: David Bauermeister, John Cooper, Cheryl Kilday


  1. Called to Order to 2:07 pm by Kevin Clark
  2. Introductions around the room
  3. Approval of Minutes from January 12
  4. Andy Olsen moved to approve
  5. John Bookwalter seconded
  6. Voted and passed unanimously
    1. Committee Reports
      1. Website Committee – Cheryl Kilday
        1. Not a lot to report
        2. Still transitioning with Ascentium to understand what is broken or not to manage content – relationship with Ascentium has been better once WTA became the customer and become a great partner
          1. Month behind on goal
          2. Committee isn’t doing much yet
          3. Listings appearing through March – less than 7000 businesses
          4. Duplicate files of who has paid and who has not
            1. Updated and corrected version listings by April 1
            2. Final redesign of what WTA wants will not happen in 2012

viii. Performance is better

  1. It is working, just not ideal
  2. Website will have digital version of visitors guide
  3. Events are the biggest challenge for the site
  4. Communications Committee – David Blandford
    1. New committee with mix of board members with PR folks from DMOs and private sector companies with current sitting WTA board members
    2. 3 major areas of focus
    3. WTA Communications
    4. Industry Advocacy
      1. Tourism Matters Campaign (website, tourism ambassadors, etc)
      2. State Destination Publicity
        1. To Make up for the loss of the state tourism office and its contracted PR firm
        2. Strategy: promote locally, cooperate globally (WTA is the tie that binds)
          1. Rewrite State press kit
          2. Photography & B-Roll
          3. Interim need to get access to photos quickly
          4. Begun collecting some photos
          5. Best was to post/hold them
            1. Will need longer term solution – must identify which committee(s) can take this on
            2. The ask will come soon – need balance
            3. Question of photo contest – important to vet usability
            4. Money in May or June budget to do a photo contest
            5. State has photos but don’t know what usage rights are
            6. Inherited a library but not very searchable
              1. Trying to determine where they are being used and what usage rights are
              2. Trying to find images that have unlimited use
              3. Will need to replace most of library
              4. Question of where to store them
                1. Gatekeeper role – WTA should allow Communications Committee to vet Editorial requests and opportunities
                  1. Op-eds and other authored pieces, when needed and appropriate
      3. Long Term Funding + Advocacy Committee – Andy Olsen
        1. Met with Bill Klein from Dean Runyan
        2. Started process of analytically evaluating sectors and sources of funding
          1. Met with Caroline Beteta from Visit California
          2. Basic model that for all $650 per $1million
          3. Self-assessment, Audit possible
          4. Represents $12 million in revenue ($38 million for rental cars)
          5. Gave car rental ability to pass one fees to customer
          6. Stay ahead of legislature and keep them involved
            1. Next steps
            2. Trying to develop thresholds for sectors
            3. Trying to narrow down
            4. Ultimate  budget needed to decide how to assess
            5. Develop assessment allocation by sectors
              1. Meet with Sectors to get buy in and discuss how to assess their own sector
              2. Present draft model at Summit
                1. Still have rumors that WTA will raid TPAs – which has never been discussed or raised as even a possibility
                2. Darrell Bryan attended DSA Breakfast on 2.8.12 – Blake Nordstrom spoke about importance of tourism and number of visitors
                  1. Jennifer meeting with main tourism person with Macy’s 2.10.12
                  2. Tough to gather retail numbers
                    1. Logic of spending is there (ex. Alaska is spending $12.48 per resident)
                    2. Help share the mssage
      4. Membership Committee – Monique Trudinowski
        1. 6 month dates out
        2. Summit
        3. Ask me button for BOD and membership committee
        4. Table w/ collateral
        5. Non-WTA members having a different colored nametag
        6. Fishbowl for cards with “giveaway” to get names and numbers
        7. Darrel offered hotels in Vancouver with Clipper
        8. Tillicum Village
        9. GC for Bellevue Collection
          1. Every seat should have membership application with direction about where to put it
          2. Drive to pay immediately onsite
            1. Kevin got questioned by other attractions about value of Membership
            2. California didn’t occur over night
            3. Don’t want built in excuse about why not to contribute
              1. Cheerleading what we are doing with minimal money and here is where we want to go if everyone is on board – but be careful about how that message is interpreted
              2. Crafting the message in a way for all audiences
              3. Ensure multiple ppl at organizations get the email
                1. Pair up BOD with stakeholders
                2. BOD reach out to members in region and industry
                3. Send membership reports to BOD
                4. Retention and recruitment
                5. Confirming what is needed for this to happen
                  1. Question of using non-member WTA services
                  2. Tangible benefit for small business owner
                  3. Preferential treatment & access
                  4. Segmented list of preferred vendors
                    1. List of major suppliers for letters of support
                    2. Will always source from a WTA member?
                      1. Summit + Events Committee – Christina Pivarnik
                        1. Summit
                        2. Joanie Pop is the chair of the hotel logistics side of the event
                        3. Matrix of what needs to be done
                        4. Agenda review – few minors changes in order
                        5. Q&A – facilitated by Suzanne & Kevin + committee chairs
                        6. Advance registration by membership and early bird
                        7. Minimum of 500, max of 800
                        8. Personal reach out to everyone who attended last year
                          1. Need to determine who is doing this – Membership suggested
                          2. Will have BOD register in advance to help with bugs
                          3. No breakouts to unify the group
                          4. Exhibitor tables for top partners
                          5. Sagacity will have table
                          6. Would like to video tape summit so it is on website ($1000)
                          7. Looking to communications and marketing to get the word out
                            1. Hotel rate available (maybe as commission on hotel rate next time)?
                            2. Reception
                            3. Personal Courage Wing with WW2 style music
                            4. Cost $15 pp with no host bar
                            5. McCormick & Schmicks should become a member before
                            6. Shuttle from hotel to Museum of Flight
                            7. $4000 sponsors for reception to offset cost
                            8. George to define what the benefits are
                              1. Next year reception will be a major fundraiser, too quick this year
                              2. Darrell would like to help next year
                                1. Fundraising events
                                2. Overlap in sponsorship of event with membership?
                                3. Approach major sponsors first
                                4. Sponsor specific items
                                5. A few kinds of fundraising events
                                6. Online auction – www.biddiingforgood.com
                                  1. Each DMO put together a package to sell as auction items
                                  2. Online marketing
                                  3. Bowling event
                                    1. Big Al’s in Vancouver?
                                    2. Committee slated to raise $100,000 in one year
                                    3. Will need a lot of help!
                                      1. Marketing Committee – George Sharp
                                        1. Branding Concept presentation made
                                        2. Matrix created of every state marketing – to help develop best practices
                                          1. Creating strategic marketing plan
                        9. March 5 with 3 levels of ideas
                        10. $7, $12 and $15 million and what will be spent on
                          1. What is all of WTA doing to show big picture
                          2. Looking at Brand tool-kit
                          3. Co-op ad in place
  5. Executive Director Update
    1. New website launched Feb 7 at 11 am – Chris Murphy
      1. Done on WordPress
      2. Google Analytics
      3. Twitter feed and other social media links
      4. Question about comments on site and value of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
        1. Link comments to Facebook
        2. Discussion board vs. comments
        3. Advocacy box

viii. Co-op box

  1. Dean Runyan – posted on WTA website (ONLY)
    1. Press Release on Friday about posting
    2. Call Center
      1. Hosted infrastructure by Victoria Clipper
      2. 800 requests for guides, so stopped mailing them
      3. 50 student guides requested – State Capitol will ship guides
      4. 0 missed calls except snow storm week
      5. May help with database work
      6. Financial update
        1. $28,000 accounts receivable – $25,000 from Washington State Convention Center
          1. Expenses of possible question
          2. $9100 excise tax – Will follow up on why we’d pay that
            1. $25,000 hit in January for website maintenance for Be Dynamic and saved $5000 for paying at once – annual fee only
      7. Fundraising update
        1. $50,000 from Boeing for 2 years
        2. Thank you to the BOD who sent names and started setting up appointments with Suzanne
          1. System being established for CRM
      8. Operations update
        1. Brianna joins team for next few months
        2. Kathryn is having a baby, scheduled next Friday so reduced hours
        3. More focused on legislative piece
          1. Sales position listed
          2. Visitor Guide Launch Party – March 8 after board meeting (location TBD)
          3. Request for Additions to board or advisory council – FYI
          4. Request for speaking opportunities
          5. 22 on the books, would love to share
            1. Next week, Tom Norwalk and WTA hosting a Russian tour operator delegation
              1. Two Nation Vacation Travel Show – have a WTA table?

viii. Two week snapshots of Suzanne’s whereabouts – so board can attend and support


  1. Policy for WTA member propositions – Diane Schostak
  2. Use of Tourism Alliance logo (organization logo)
    1. Members are encouraged to use logo, link, promote membership, etc
    2. Is it an implied endorsement?
    3. Reconfigure logo to say “proud member of WTA”
    4. Member endorsing WTA, not WTA endorsing member
    5. Do we have a founding partner logo? (paid by Dec 2011)
      1. Question about same Washington, the State logo
      2. Add “only as issued” – no modifications or list PMS colors
      3. Think about use
      4. Usage as logo bug only (not header)

viii. Any other use would have to be approved

  1. Need to protect logo
  2. Diane will rework and bring back for March meeting
  3. Is logo Trademarked or registered? Suzanne to talk to Greg Duff
  4. Email Diane with feedback
    1. Day in Olympia
    2. Power brokers on schedule? Find key legislators to sit down with
    3. Is it for face purposes?
    4. Kathryn to follow-up Friday with all of WTA Board
      1. Editorial Board update – Cheryl Kilday
      2. Visitors Guide is coming along nicely
      3. Excited for Launch party on March 8
        1. Future meetings
        2. Tri-cities use?
        3. Q2 – go to every other month
          1. Good of the Order
          2. Kevin expressed gratitude for all the work that has been done
          3. Open meetings but notify of attendance (schedule posted)
          4. PSBJ article – 3rdtime since August
            1. Moved to Adjourn at 5:19 pm